A Federal High Court, Lagos, has ordered final forfeiture of N11.040 million and some property belonging to former Guard Commanders of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captains Olotu Olumuyiwa Morakinyo and Ebony Emmanuel Aneke, to the Federal Government.
Also affected is a company, Lakewood Garden Ventures Limited.
The trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, gave the order of final forfeiture following an application filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo.
The court had on March 28, 2018, ordered a temporary forfeiture of the said money and property following an ex-parte application brought before the court by the EFCC.
It ordered that whoever has interest in the said money and property should appear before the court within 14 days, and show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The court also directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper.
But at the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Oyedepo, who told the court that the EFCC had launched investigation into the activities of the respondents after receiving intelligence report of a case of conspiracy, stealing and money laundering against them, said he complied with the directive of the court following the temporary forfeiture order and served the respondents too.
He, therefore, urged the court to finally forfeit the said money and property to the Federal Government for being proceeds of unlawful activities since the action is unchallenged.
Justice Hassan, after listening to Oyedepo’s submission, granted the application for final forfeiture of the said money and property.
In another development, the House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into alleged abuse of contract award and gross mismanagement of funds by NIMASA.
Besides, the House also resolved to investigate the award of contract for the dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
This followed the adoption of two separate motions sponsored by Rimamnde Shawulu and Ossai Nicholas Ossai at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration to investigate the allegation against NIMASA and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.
It also mandated its Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways and Public Procurement to investigate the allegations levelled against NPA and report back within four weeks.
Credit: The Guardian